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Monday, September 30, 2013

So you think you can't afford ORGANIC meat, but you can afford fast food....

I was recently talking with a friend of mine and she was telling me about her diet.  She said, "I only eat at Chick-fil-A occasionally, but no other fast food or out to eats".  As we continued discussing her other habits, I mentioned buying fresh wild fish to add to her weekly routine.  Her reaction was, "oh that is too expensive, it's at least $9/lb".  While this is true, I began to think about these two opposing views, fast food being an ok choice, and fresh fish being a too expensive choice.  So I've decided to do some investigating on the cost of eating fast food because there is absolutely not one person I know who does not eat some form of fast food.  My family has completely given up fast food and for about three weeks now we have not eaten out at all.  I'm extremely pleased with the outcomes.  My motivation comes mainly from the results of eating out even at "nice" places.  Each time we would dare to eat out, I would literally feel sick after wards and all night.  It seemed worth it for the luxury of not having to cook or clean, but now I've decided it's just not worth it.  The cleaner you eat the cleaner you will want to eat! Ok, back to my fast food findings. This will knock your socks OFF!!!

These are my motivating factors!!

I actually called McDonalds and Chickfil-A to confirm prices and serving sizes!1/2 lb hamburger from

McDonalds = $4.69,  this translates to you are paying $8/lb* in beef!!

Organic beef at Costco (not 100% grass fed, but close) = $4.50/lb

Harry's 100% Grass fed beef = $8.99/lb

*I chose the 1/2lb hamburger because that is supposed to be the best "value" item on the McDonald's list.  To be fair and super generous in my calculations I subtracted .69 for the bread and condiments which leaves $4 for a half pound of meat, double that to figure you are paying $8/lb of meat.  Meat is the most expensive items at any restaurant, not that cheap GMO bread or lettuce and tomato.


Chickfil-A Sanwhich = $3.16, at 5oz of meat this translates to you are paying $9/lb-$10/lb* for chicken
Chickfil-A Nuggets 12 count = $4.25, at 6oz this equals $11/lb for chicken

Organic chicken at Costco = $2.50/lb for a whole bird or $6/lb for a package of breasts

*I called a sweet lady at Chickfil-A and had her weigh a piece of chicken out for me that they use on the Chickfil-A sandwich.  She could not find the amount otherwise.  She told me it was 5.1oz but their regulations were between 4-5oz of meat.  So it's not a perfect number on each sandwich, so I went with the most generous portion which would be 5oz for my calculations.  There are 16oz in a pound.  5oz X 3.2 = 16 oz = lb.   $3.16x3.2 =$10.  I'm saying between $9-$10 for the purpose of not knowing if you get a 4oz portion or a 5oz, you pay the same thing, but some people would argue the bun, butter, and pickle should be worth something so I'll give a range amount here.  You get the point though!

 Let's say the average person goes to eat fast food twice per week due to time issues and conveince.  They would be spending just as much on their dinner as the health guru buying fresh fish and organic beef/chicken at Whole Foods or Costco!  Well you say, that is only twice per week, the other times I'm spending way less.  Not true if you buy the organic meat at Costco.  Please don't buy cheap meat from factory farms.  Have you seen the movie Food Inc?!!!  I really don't think you can beat those Costco ORGANIC prices unless you buy a half cow and have a mega freezer.  So I hope I've sold you on the idea that if you can afford fast food, then you can afford organic meat!  I hope you consider changing over to eating zero fast food and all organic meats, eggs, and any dairy products.  Those are the most expensive ones to start with and in fact the most important.  Keep following me on here for recipes that are fast and easy!  In the mean time, throw an organic hamburger patty or piece of fresh fish in a pan and in the amount of time it takes you to go through a drive through, you can have a way healthier dinner!

My grill with some fresh fish! I seriously buy it, put it in a zip lock bag with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice and minced garlic and sea salt.  Then let it sit in the bag for about the time it takes to heat the grill up, throw it on and in 10 minutes you have the most delicious mouth watering fish ever!! So easy!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Easy Roasted Whole Chicken and Why eat ORGANIC.

(before I put it in the oven)

One whole organic chicken (Costco has these in two packs, Whole Foods, or farmers market), rinsed and pat dry
sea salt and any spices you like, ex italian seasonings, always organic
carrots, celery, red potatoes, organic again
olive oil organic

1. Rub chicken in olive oil or you could also rub melted organic butter
2. grease your glass pan with organic palm oil or olive oil
3. lay your veggies in the bottom to create a nice bed for the chicken to rest on
4. put oiled and spiced up chicken on top and place in the oven at 425F for 1.5-2hours
Enjoy a whole meal!

Why stress organic eating? Because it's chemical and junk free, or mostly the best we can get in the age we are living in.  Our great-grandparents or some of you your grandparents lived on farms in small communities and had access to fresh organic food all the time.  There was no need to have these labels. Now there is big business in selling food products with a bunch of scary chemicals and altered ingredients.  Some people say, "I'll be fine eating those chemicals, that's why the government allows them on the shelves at grocery stores." Some even use phrases like, "all in moderation."  I'd like the address these statements at the root which is FEAR!! Fear to change, a LOT of people fear someone like me would want them to not enjoy eating at all and take away all their yumminess.  That is not true at all.  I believe when God promised the Israelites a new land flowing with "milk and honey." He knew they would understand those ingredients as delicious.  God wants us to enjoy eating way more than big businesses who make cereals, chips, cookies, and candies do. I'll show you how this is possible.  Then you might say, well I cannot afford this type of organic eating.  Well I'm excited to tell you, YES YOU CAN! With a little re-prioritization and effort, you too can eat organic and healthy and feel the difference.  I'll be working on a blog post to come on this topic of $$$ and eating well!  I cannot wait to reveal to you my findings :-)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quick Black bean, Goat Cheese, and Rice Lunch

This is a quick vegetarian meal that I LOVE!  While being off dairy for about 4 months is not an easy task, I am allowing myself a few dairy treats here and there.  Goat cheese is one of them, mainly because you can use such a tiny amount for an amazing flavor impact.  The black beans were bought from Cultures for Health, they are dry, sprouted and organic.  Because they are dry, you have to soak them overnight, then boil them for about 3 hours or in a crock pot for a lot longer, about 6 hours.  They are absolutely more tasteful than the conventional canned beans and you may not believe me until you order, soak and try! Make a big batch of beans and rice, then have this a few times a week for lunch or dinner. I told my husband this is my upgraded version of a Moe's burrito bowl and he much preferred mine!

1/2 cup black beans, sprouted, soaked, then cooked
1/2 cup white rice, organic (I really prefer the taste of white over brown rice)
1/2 corn, I just boiled a cob of fresh white corn for 5 min, then cut it off
salsa, Kirkland (costco) makes a great organic salsa
goat cheese crumbles, as much as you like
other ingredients you could add, guacamole, corn chips, cilantro, fresh tomato

Friday, August 16, 2013

What's so great about GRASS-FED Beef?

COWS were made for GRASS!

The meat man at Whole Foods asked me "why do you want to pass on the $4.99/lb beef on sale that is only partially grass fed"?  Partial, I don't like the sound of that.  Then the meat man explained how the cows are fed corn the last part of their life which adds about 300 pounds to their weight and makes the farmers a nice profit.  I wanted the $7.99/lb beef that is totally grass-fed, but I was not completely clear on my reasons.  I told him that cows were meant to eat grass, and I also asked him if he could guarantee the corn-fed cows were not consuming genetically modified foods (gmo corn) in their grain.  His response, "of course I cannot guarantee that there are no gmos, and there probably are".  Next he proceeded to tell me that the gmos in the grain were not "transferred" to the meat. Meaning I would not be consuming gmos.  Oh really, yeah right, was my response.    I told him I didn't have time to give him a science lesson and moved on with my 100% grass fed beef in cart.  Oh, I was stirred up after that conversation, and to think it all happened at Whole Foods! I'm thankful though because it spurred me onto think more about why I pay more and feel passionate about supporting farmers doing all grass fed.

A week later I was at a farmers market and asked one of the cow farmers why I should buy 100% grass fed beef.  His response, "because it has more omega 3s than a fillet of salmon".  WHAT? Omega 3s in beef? I thought that was only in fish and flax oil, maybe some nuts too.  I was floored, but also I felt a little proud of sticking to my gut instinct on the 100% grass fed purchase at Whole Foods.  Now to do my own investigation.

What's so important about omega-3's? We cannot make these fats in our bodies. So we need to get them from eating yummy things like fish, beef, and other pastured animal products like eggs.
What about omega-6s? These are important too, but the problem is we get WAY TOO MUCH!  Omega-6s are found in vegetable/seed oils which the average person consumes too much.  This is probably because packaged foods contain vegetable oils, chips, crackers, cereals for example.

A quick review of the research and this is what I found below:

*"grass-finished beef tends toward a higher proportion of cholesterol neutral stearic FA (C18:0), and less cholesterol-elevating SFAs (saturated fatty acids) such as myristic (C14:0) and palmitic (C16:0) FAs"(1)

I want cholesterol neutral instead of cholesterol ELEVATING!

*"Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries"(1)

Cancer fighting antioxidants!! Maybe this is a link to the reason cancer is on the rise.  We are eating way too much factory farm meats! Shocking.

I'll keep on buying my 100% grass-fed beef and I hope you do too! Let's support nature even if we have to eat a little less ;-)

*(1) 2010 Mar 10;9:10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Best Protein Powder I can find! Processing matters!

This is the whey protein powder I just ordered 1lb= $44. Not cheap, but that's the point, high quality is not cheap.  This is because they do not use genetically modified ingredients, such as beet sugar, fructose from corn sugars, that are mass produced driving the costs down.  Also, producing mass quantities of whey protein (this comes from cow's milk) in those horrible factory farms is completely irresponsible, but hey, you can then buy it cheap, right.  So that's what I'm advocating here, quality.   I'm excited about this whey because from what I've been researching on the internet, this may be the BEST, HIGHEST quality there is out there. So far anyways.  Here's the link

This company has formulated a whey protein that is from 100% grass fed cows, and I think one of the most important aspects is the "cold pressed" processing of the protein.  They call it TruCool(TM)  processing which is very exciting.  From my biochemistry classes we learned that when you heat a protein, the heat actually denatures it.  This can change the protein's form causing your body to be unable to process it as easily and quickly.  It just makes sense that you would want your whey protein in the most original form as God made it in the cow.

This is the company.  GOOD STUFF!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome back! The new and improved!

Wow, I've not written in over a year! That's what having two babies back to back and nursing will do to a Mama of two girls.  I recently went gluten free at the beginning of this year and it has CHANGED my life.  I have more mental focus and clarity.  A fellow gluten-free friend said it best, I thought I was ADD/ADHD until I took gluten out of my diet.  That was me, always hard to focus, sleepy a lot, but I thought it was all due to nursing and having babies.  Well, it was, but when I took out gluten, I gained energy and my mind feels so clear.  It's hard to explain to anyone who has not experienced the conversion, so just take my word for it, it's worth a try.  At first it was super hard and the usual thoughts of "what can I eat" or "how can I have pizza again" kept badgering my mind.  It took months and months to get over all that and try every frozen gluten free item in the freezer section at kroger, publix, and whole foods.  Only to end up feeling not so great after the frozen choices and realizing, maybe I'll stick with cooking the basics like rice and potatoes.  Wow, have I learned a LOT over this past year and I'm excited to share and have somewhere to keep track of it all.  My latest favorite muffin recipe at the moment is: (yes I created this on my own) Grain free, gluten free, dairy free, no refined sugar date&pecan muffins.

You have to have a high speed blender for this to work right. I have a blendtec but vitamix would work too.

Preheat oven to 350F. I love convection for baking so that's what I use.

Into your high speed blender add:

4 eggs, pastured please
1 cup dates pitted
*blend these for about 30 seconds on low speed until dates are dissolved

- 1 cup garbonzo bean flour (I buy sprouted garbonzo bean flour from Cultures for Health)
- a splash of vanilla extract (I try to skip measuring as much as possible)
-1/3c unsweetened almond milk or more depending on thickness desired
- two handfuls of pecans or walnuts
-1/4 tsp salt (yes, I use Himalayan pink salt only because I have the pink stuff from the Indian food store and love it, something feels better about it been exotic).
*blend for another 15 seconds or until nuts are chopped finely

-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
-2 teaspoon cream of tartar
*blend again to mix (you could use 1/2 tsp baking powder, but a friend of mine taught me this concoction is better for gluten and corn sensitive people).

*you could add frozen or fresh blueberries to this recipe for an extra yummy factor. I did and it's amazing! Freeze the left-overs and put them in the frig at night for the morning breakfast rush!

Pour into 12 medium muffins or 24 mini muffins as I have shown here, they rise a lot, so fill about 2/3 full. Bake at 350F convection for around 18 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This makes about 12 medium muffins, but 24 littles ones are better.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

COconut French Toast- This is amazing!

1 cup coconut milk (i use the entire can)
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c fat free milk (or 1-2%)
3 large eggs
1 loaf Egg Bread (found in the Publix bakery)- sliced thick
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 200F. Place baking sheet in the oven (this is to keep the bread warm while making the entire loaf). You don't need to do this if you are eating it as you make it, but it works really well
2. Combine coconut milk, sugar, milk, and eggs in a shallow dish, stirring with a wisk.  Working in batches, dip bread in the milk mixture, and let stand for 1 minute on each side.  Don't soak the bread too much or it will not cook all the way through.  You just dip each side then let it sit on a plate.
3.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and coat pan with cooking spray.  Add 4-5 coated bread slices to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Place on warm pan in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat procedure in batches: restir milk mixture before dipping and spray the pan before cooking.

I found the basics of this recipe in cooking light magazine, then modified it a little to actually make it not so "light", but so much more yummy.  You could use light coconut milk and fat free milk, but I promise it will not taste as yummy.  That coconut fat is way good for you anyways! Enjoy!